19 January 2010

The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 1), Rick Riordan (#5)

Disclosure: I read this book because I know I want to see the movie, which comes out soon.  I don’t think I would’ve just picked up the book to read it. That being said, I’m really glad that I read it, because it could be the most fun series I’ve read since Harry Potter.  Rick Riordan’s saga, about an adolescent boy who discovers he is a demigod fathered by Poseidon, has all the makings of a good series: a clear narrative voice, intriguing storylines, and an enjoyable supporting cast.  What this book has that other series lack is a strong presence of teaching.  Teaching the mythical stories and histories of various mythological characters, that is. I’m not trying to argue that Percy Jackson’s story is based on facts, but that Riordan finds a way to give the information of the myths without making it feel like you’re sitting in a classroom.  I think this book is great for its intended audience in that way, because finding interesting ways for young people to learn is a serious challenge.  But, if you’ve never taken a class on classical myth or anything like that, it’s still a really enjoyable book because you get the one line synopsis of the various characters, and the story flows so you don’t even realize you’re learning.  Love the story, love Percy Jackson, and am really excited to read the next book in the series (which I immediately went out and bought).

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